A bill has been tabled to regulate gifts offered by glazing professionals, and avoid abuse and overcharging.
THE glazing professionalsrepair and replacement of windshields have no shortage of ideas to attract customers to their workshops: electric scooter, PlayStation 5 video game console, television, gift vouchers, fuel cards… commercial gestures which are sure to hit the mark as the end-of-year holidays approach.
But these generous gifts could well disappear in the near future: in fact, a bill was recently tabled to regulate this practice. Insurers denounce abuse in this matter, because the amounts of repairs would be overcharged in order to finance these gifts, which would have an impact on car insurance premiums.
Several deputies from the Modem and Independents group have submitted a Law proposition aimed at regulating the cost of repairs to glazing and other windshields, in order to prevent glazing professionals from offering too generous gifts to their customers.
“Some repairers offer gifts with their service. This commercial practice leads to overcharging by insurers and, thus, an increase in the cost of automobile insurance for policyholders. (…) Therefore, to regulate these commercial practices, this proposed law aims to provide a clear framework in the sector. If the insured has the freedom to choose his repairer, he must not, in accordance with article L. 121-1 of the insurance code, benefit from the repair of a claim.can we read in the preamble to this bill.
MEPs wish to limit the amount of these gifts to a maximum of 5% of the amount of the repair bill, or around thirty euros for a windshield repair of €600.
In addition, insurers would also have a say on these commercial practices: “The professional repairer has an obligation to be transparent about the cost and price of the repair service offered. If the price proposed by the repairer is clearly disproportionate to the service required by the incident, the insurer has the possibility of contesting it and using the professional repairer of its choice; vehicle travel costs are, where applicable, the responsibility of the insurer”specifies the bill.
Glazing professionals, for their part, fear that this new law prevents free competition between the different brands, and that the consumer ultimately no longer has the choice of his service provider, imposed by his insurer.
In fact, since 2015, the Hamon law allows motorists to choose the repairer of their choice in the event of an accident, even if it is not approved by their insurance company.
This bill calls into question, in some ways, this principle. If it is validated, it could be presented to Parliament at the beginning of 2024. To be continued…
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